There has been a boatload of encouraging storylines for the Braves through the first few months of the season. Ronald Acuña has become the overwhelming favorite to win the NL MVP award. Marcell Ozuna has remembered how to play baseball again. Orlando Arcia has transformed into one of the best bargains in all of the MLB. But perhaps the most heartwarming of them all is Jesse Chavez, whose Atlanta career continues to reach new heights with each passing outing.
Following another successful week in which he tossed five scoreless innings with eight strikeouts, the 39-year-old’s ERA is now down to 1.55 on the season. He’s proven to be Brian Snitker‘s most reliable reliever on the entire roster, consistently coming up huge in the biggest moments. The last time Chavez gave up a run was nearly a month ago, back on May 17th, against the Rangers. He’s been unhittable since the calendar flipped to May, boasting a 0.48 ERA in his last 17 appearances (18.2 innings) and striking out 25 batters.
I’m not sure anybody can accurately put their finger on why Chavez has had so much success in Atlanta and struggled everywhere else. He was traded not once but twice last season and found his way back to the Braves after unsuccessful stints with the Cubs and Angels, only to start pitching like an elite reliever again in Atlanta, and he’s only gotten better in 2023.
- 81st percentile in Average Exit Velocity
- 81st percentile in HardHit%
- 96th percentile in Barrel %
- 89th percentile in K%
- 86th percentile in xSLG
- 88th percentile in Whiff%
- 81st percentile in xERA
- 72nd percentile in xBA
I frankly don’t even think it’s a debate at this point. If the MLB All-Star Game was tomorrow, it would absolutely be a snub if Chavez wasn’t included on the National League roster. He may not have the flashy arm that is constantly featured on Pitching Ninja, but this is a game of results, and these results speak for themselves.
Jesse Chavez is set to turn 40-years-old in a couple of months. He’s a journeyman that has never made an All-Star Game since coming into the league back in 2008. If he continues to have this kind of success over the next few weeks, that should change in what could become one of the more feel-good stories of the All-Star break.
Photo: Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire